I have lived majority of my life in crippling fear. One of my biggest fears was dying so anything that seemed too risky, I did not want any part of it. There were some days I was afraid to drive after seeing accidents on the highway or hearing of someone dying due to an accident. I was afraid to fly after hearing stories about plane crashes. I was afraid to take a cruise because of boat sinking tragedies like the Titanic. I also grew fearful of dogs and cats.
When I was a child, my mother made it very clear to my siblings and me that she was afraid of cats and dogs. Although she feared dogs, my mother bought me a dog that I named Lady. She was a Labrador Retriever. Her fur coat was golden, and she had light brown hazelnut hued eyes. We shared the same birth day. Lady took care of a family of kittens once. It amazes me how she also knew that my mother did not like cats. She would sneak them across the yard and would sometimes hide them in a bush or in her dog house. I even caught her guiding them to a hole that was in our woodened fence. After many attempts to guide them through the fence, they eventually made their way through and went off into the world.
One day, my mother was calling out to me while I was outside feeding a kitten some milk that I had snuck from our refrigerator. I was keeping this kitten hidden in a kitchen playset that my mother placed outside. When I heard her voice getting closer, I hurried and parted ways from it.
My mother asked me what I was doing, and I told her nothing. She knew I was up to something and began looking through my kitchen set. She noticed a bowl of milk and some material that I placed in it for a bed for the kitten. She got very upset and told me to stay away from cats because she does not like them.
From that moment, I stayed away from cats. I began to avoid cats and even got to the point of fearing them. How did I go from being a cat lover to being fearful of them? Many of my fears do not stem from my own personal encounters, they stem from things that are presented to me repeatedly through different vessels. Social media, friends, the news, TV shows, coworkers, spouse, society and many more can have an influence on your perspective.
We are born to our parents who have their own fears. As a child you are influenced by those that take part in your experiences. Your teachers, peers and parents can shape your perspective on the world.
What they fear, they will try to protect you from and eventually you could find yourself having the same fears. You do not give life a chance when you place big red warning signs on things that you have yet to experience for yourself because those around you are fearful of them.
We must ask ourselves, are we living our lives due to other’s fears and limitations?
Take the time to write down your fears. Then, tackle them one by one. You can do this!
After writing down my fears, I began to take the steps to overcome those fears. Some of my fears were, riding through certain areas, having a plane crash, sinking on a cruise ship and let’s not forget those cats.
I took a trip that required I fly and marked that off the list. I took a cruise and marked that off the list. I keep going down my list and marking things off.
Another method I use is to write my fears down on a sheet of paper and then burn it. Poof! Into flames it goes. This may seem too simple to work but there is always a weight that is lifted from me and therefore I become more motivated.
Fear stands in the way of your progress.
Don’t let the fear of what might happen make nothing happen.